Hoy/Scott Watershed Society

Salmon Hatchery Manager Opening in Coquitlam

Hoy Creek Hatchery is located east of Douglas College David Lam campus in Coquitlam, along Hoy Trail.

Hoy Creek Hatchery is located east of Douglas College David Lam campus in Coquitlam, along Hoy Trail.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) in Coquitlam, B.C. is seeking a fish hatchery manager. The individual will be trained by the current hatchery manager, Rodney Lee starting mid-September 2019 and will eventually assume the managing activities at the hatchery. No previous experience is needed, just reliability, an interest in fish and an appetite for learning and ability to coordinate.

This role will train in all aspects of managing the hatchery including broodstock collection, egg takes, equipment operation and maintenance, egg incubation and caring for the alevins and fry.

Interested persons should provide a brief essay stating interest, previous experience (if any) and why you would like this role. Please note that all volunteers working at the Hoy Creek Hatchery are members of the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society. This is a volunteer position.

Responsibilities:

  • Learn how the hatchery operates

  • Learn how to start-up and maintain equipment

  • Learn about salmon and primarily the 2 species we will be incubating - Chum and Coho

  • Learn how to capture and care for broodstock

  • Learn about and conduct the egg-take and fertilization process.

  • Learn about and maintain biosecurity protocol for the facility.

  • Assist with weekly and season maintenance activities

  • Assist with the care and feeding of all generations of fish

  • Assist with fish length and weight sampling including started fish health calculations

  • Assist with taking water quality measurements

  • Assist with operation of the rearing pond including the operation of the lower pond and outlet weir.

  • Learn about aquaculture in the context of the Salmon Enhancement Program through Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

  • Assist with planning and execution of fish marking (adipose clipping).

  • Assist with transport and release of surplus Coho fry to Upper Hoy and Upper Scott if necessary.

  • Provide a brief hatchery update to HSWS executive for monthly meetings (Sept. – June)

  • Assist at our public events: Salmon Come Home (October); Salmon Leave Home (May)

  • Act as the backup for the current hatchery manager, Rodney Lee until able to resume full responsibility as a hatchery manager.

Time commitment: Hours vary but would typically require at least 3 hours one morning per week September through June. Training would take place on Saturday mornings. This commitment starts with preparatory work for the broodstock capturing season and goes through to fin-clipping and transfer to the hatchery rearing pond; to the annual release of smolts in May. Summer months are less busy. The selected candidate must be available to attend to hatchery duties as they arise and needs vary a lot in the season. Living relatively close to the hatchery is a necessity.

Communication: Needs to be available by cell phone and text message as a primary means of communication. Email is secondary.

Benefits of the position:

  • 1 year free training from current manager of 11 years

  • Opportunity to learn from the Department of Fisheries staff to support one of the most significant sub-watersheds in the Coquitlam River watershed

  • Development opportunities available, including attendance at Pacific Streamkeepers Federation workshops / SEP conference

  • Rewarding work with a fun, friendly, committed group of volunteers

  • Volunteering looks great on a resume!

Please email the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society with questions or to state your interest in this role: hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) is a volunteer run non-profit society that operates a small salmon hatchery beside Hoy Creek, and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promoting public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed habitat restoration and preservation. Learn more at our website: hoyscottcreeks.org

Rearing pond floorboards upgraded

HSWS rearing pond boards.jpg

The Hoy/Scott Watershed wishes to thank the City of Coquitlam for securing our floorboards at the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

The integrity of the board were noted during the annual pond clean out which takes place after the release of our 5000 coho smolts at Salmon Leave Home in May.

Old and rotted wood were replaced.

Fishkill at Hoy Creek Hatchery a Reminder of How Precious Our Ecosystem Is

Photo taken approximately 4:30 p.m. on May 29, 2019 (HSWS photo)

Photo taken approximately 4:30 p.m. on May 29, 2019 (HSWS photo)

On May 29, president of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell was alerted by the City that a resident had reported dead fish in Hoy Creek. An hour later photos of the fish in stream were emailed to her.

At 4 p.m. she went down to the hatchery to investigate, finding that much of the fish in the hatchery Capilano trough were dead. These fish were coho salmon fry about 5-6 month old. She alerted the hatchery manager, Rodney Lee, who joined her there. It appeared that about 80% of the fish were lost.

The hatchery manager did an assessment of the creek north and south of the hatchery taking photos, trying to locate the source. The storm drain outfall at the foot bridge north of the hatchery close to Walton School did show bubbly foamy substance, and ammonia levels there could point to high concentrations of bleach or chlorine. Here is his hatchery manager’s report.

In review of social media messages later, it was discovered that one resident reported the dead fish at 6:30 p.m. on May 28 to the HSWS Facebook page.

The City of Coquitlam took a water sample the night of the 29th. HSWS president was around the area for about 2 hours and reported smelling a chemical similar to chlorine or ammonia, and could also taste chemical on her tongue.

The following day the hatchery was visited by various media houses and in the afternoon the dead fish were removed and buried.

The society was advised that the City looked into homes that have pools.

A week later the remaining fish were fin-clipped and another count was done. We’re pleased to report that 2700 fish survived. There is no way of knowing how many fish, crawfish, and lamprey died in the stream.

A report of the water testing was provided to the Society in June, but there was no water quality parameter that was identified as the culprit, but the ammonia levels at Hoy creek storm outfall north of the hatchery had considerably high levels which would could point to high concentrations of bleach or chlorine.

A community door-to-door education initiative will be planned by the society and hatchery manager Rodney Lee sent the following Letter to the Editor:

It only takes the carelessness, thoughtlessness or malicious action of a single individual to destroy life in our waterways. Unfortunately, this occurred on Hoy Creek last week. A highly toxic substance was dumped into a storm drain. This substance proceeded to kill thousands of fish and other aquatic animals in Hoy Creek. The loss of our hatchery salmon were dramatic. We, as hatchery volunteers, have spent countless hours raising our fish. We lost a good many of them in an instant. The losses amongst the wild fish populations truly heartbreaking as these are the populations we work hard to protect. They are priceless.

It’s been a week since this has occurred. I return to look at the Creek to find a single Coho fry present at the Hatchery bridge — a place where hundreds of wild fish lived a short while ago.

Please be mindful - everything entering a storm drain ends up in a creek. Creeks contain aquatic life that can’t survive pollution being dumped into the habitat. As members of the public, we all have a duty to steward and protect the environment that we live in. Should you witness any suspected pollution being dumped into a storm drain, please take immediate action to report it to the authorities:

  • City of Coquitlam Engineering 24 hour emergency (Municipal): 604-927-3500

  • Observe, Record, Report (Federal): 1-800-465-4336

  • Report all poachers and polluters (Provincial): 1-877-952-RAPP

My heartfelt thanks,

Rodney Lee
Hatchery Manager, Hoy Creek Hatchery
Vice President, Hoy/Scott Watershed Society

Global News: Pollution suspected in mass fish die off in Coquitlam

Tri-City News: Toxic Water Kills Hundreds of Fish in Coquitlam Creek

CTV News: Hundreds of Fish Die at Coquitlam Hatchery

Tri-City News: Coquitlam trying to fInd the source of fish kill

Daily Hive: Unknown Pollutant Causes Mass Death of Salmon in Coquitlam Hatchery

Hatchery tour provided to Communities in Bloom judges

Left to right: Maya Uno of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Jim Baird and Evelyn Alemanni of Communities in Bloom. 

Left to right: Maya Uno of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Jim Baird and Evelyn Alemanni of Communities in Bloom. 

Hoy Creek Hatchery was once again a point of interest for visiting judges of the Communities in Bloom competition.  

"Communities in Bloom - Collectivités en fleurs is about greening through environmental, natural heritage conservation and horticultural actions that involve citizens, businesses, institutions, and municipalities.  The program is focused on environmental stewardship through enhancement of green spaces."

On July 19 Jim Baird (USA) and Evelyn Alemanni (USA) spent a busy day visiting City parks and locations and the salmon hatchery is one of the key places in the city that exemplify their ethos.

Leading the tour for the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society was Maya Uno, a City of Coquitlam environmental award recipient.

HSWS member and environtmental award recipient, Maya Uno at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

HSWS member and environtmental award recipient, Maya Uno at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

Annual adipose fin-clip held at Hoy Creek Hatchery

Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Close to 6000 coho salmon had their adipose fin clipped as part of a Department of Fisheries Canada encouraged exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam on June 20.  The salmon are approximately 6 months old. The adipose fin is a soft, fleshy fin found on the top of the salmon, on the back behind the dorsal fin and just forward of the caudal fin.

Although it's not mandatory, the DFO strongly advise hatcheries to clip the adipose fins for several reasons:

  • When salmon return to spawn, the clipped fins allow hatcheries to monitor their return
  • Most sports fisherman know that clipped coho can be kept, while wild coho must be returned
  • Clipped fish returns help DFO assess overall returns, helping to ensure the wild salmon are more dominant.
  • The procedure also allows for a manual fish count, whereas previously only weight sample counts took place. 
Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Overseen by DFO fisheries technician, Tyler Thibault, a group of about ten Hoy-Scott Watershed Society volunteers came out to help in the operation.  Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee explained the procedure to a few people who were clipping their first time. 

First, the fish are anesthetized in small batches. Once in the solution, they become sleepy within minutes. The volunteers stand ready around a table equipped with a trough with flowing water and beds of water for the fish to lay in. Volunteers work quickly and very carefully to clip fins with disinfected surgical scissors before they wake up, which is within about a minute. Fish are put into the outside trough and end up in the bucket at the end of the table. They are returned to the hatchery to recover. 

Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

The fish will soon be transferred from the hatchery Capilano trough room, and will live in the rearing pond until Salmon Leave Home in May 2019. Once they are released, they stay about a year in the stream making their way to the ocean. Fish from this brood could then return in about 2.5 years.

Thanks to all those who helped out this year!

(Watch our VIDEO below).

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) is a volunteer-run non-profit society that operates a small salmon hatchery beside Hoy Creek and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promoting public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed habitat restoration and preservation. 

Salmon Leave Home on Sunday, May 6

A young boy releases a fingerling coho salmon into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A young boy releases a fingerling coho salmon into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Join the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society on Sunday, May 6 for Salmon Leave Home at the Hoy

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society invites the community out for their annual Salmon Leave Home event on Sunday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam.  People of all ages will have the opportunity to help release 18-month-old coho smolts into Hoy Creek. 

“Salmon Leave Home is a special event for families with small children. The kids find so much delight in releasing fish into the creek,” said society president, Robbin Whachell.  “Once the salmon are released, they make their way downstream to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, the Fraser River - which empties into the Strait of Georgia on the Pacific Ocean. They return in approximately 2 years to the same location where they were spawned.”  

The family-friendly free outdoor event will run rain or shine and the society will have families engaged in fishy fun. Students from the Pinetree Secondary environmental club will be providing face painting, while the Wild Salmon Creative Cafe will be serving up Spirit Bear coffees and will host an art build activity.

It’s a great opportunity to learn about the local fish hatchery and get information on the year-round salmon enhancement program, which includes work with plants in the riparian area of Hoy and Scott Creeks.  Our 5-month old coho fry will also be on display.

The hatchery is located in the Hoy Creek Linear Park behind Douglas College and north of Guildford, a few minutes walk inland and is only a ten-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Skytrain station.  To find the exact location, simply Google “Hoy Creek Hatchery.”  

Let us know you're coming, or invite your family and friends on our Facebook event page.

Hoy Trail has several entrances:
- Walk in from Princess Crescent;
- Walk in from behind Douglas College;
- Walk in from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree);
- Walk in from Walton Avenue, or behind Walton Elementary;
- Walk in from the foot of Lasalle Place.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation.

To find the exact location simply Google, "Hoy Creek Hatchery."

Our event hashtag is #salmonleavehome, so if you attend, feel free to tweet or share, and check out what others are posting with our event hashtag.

(Photos from last year)

 

Vancity supports the 25th Salmon Come Home event in Coquitlam

Vancity manager Omar (left) presents a $500 cheque to HSWS secretary Emily (center with daughter Joan) and HSWS president Robbin (right) for Salmon Come Home. 

Vancity manager Omar (left) presents a $500 cheque to HSWS secretary Emily (center with daughter Joan) and HSWS president Robbin (right) for Salmon Come Home. 

A huge thank you to Vancity Credit Union, Pinetree branch in Coquitlam, for their continued support of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, as earlier this month they donated $500.00 toward Salmon Come Home, one of the City of Coquitlam's signature events held this year on Sunday, October 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the community event which is a collaboration between the Municipality and the Society. 

"As a non-profit group, we really appreciate and encourage local business support with any or all of our initiatives," said Robbin Whachell, President, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. "Thank you Vancity for helping us highlight the importance of our environment and the wonder of the salmon."

The salmon is a unique creature in that it returns to the exact stream that is was born to spawn and die.  Peak viewing of salmon spawning in Hoy Creek is between mid-October and December. 

Salmon Come Home attracts thousands of people who come out to celebrate the salmon return and learn about the work of the Society, as well as other local environmental groups.  Participating thisyear is the following:

Articipation,
BC Hydro Power Smart Outreach,
Burke Mountain Naturalists,
City of Coquitlam - Bad Seed/Urban Forestry,
City of Coquitlam - Solid Waste and Recycling,
City of Coquitlam - Urban Wildlife,
City of Coquitlam - Water Conservation,
Coquitlam Riverwatch,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC,
Friends of DeBoville Slough,
Hoy/Scott Watershed Society,
Hyde Creek Watershed Society,
Kintec,
Maple Creek Watershed Streamkeepers ,
MetroVancouver Regional Parks,
Port Moody Ecological Society,
Vancity Pinetree Branch,
Watershed Watch Salmon Society, and
Wild Salmon Creative Café.

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is in Hoy Creek Linear Park, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex (Pinetree and Guildford Way), and is a seven-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.

Visitors can walk in from a variety of locations: from Princess Crescent, from behind Douglas College; from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree), from Walton Avenue or behind Walton Elementary, or from the foot of Lasalle Place.

Free parking is available at Coquitlam City Hall, Pinetree Community Centre and Douglas College.